31 January 2010

PLAN to Have a Great Year

Can you believe that 2010 is really clicking along? We're already down one month with 11 to go. Amazing. I feel like the days are already flying by, sometimes with too little notice, too little regard and too many must dos. Here's a little something I've been thinking about and recently did to help make sure that I take notice of 2010, that I plan and executes events that will bring fun days and great memories.

I noticed a few years ago that when I had a vacation or something big to look forward to I was more optimistic, hopeful and pleasant in the days leading to it. I knew a reward was coming and that helped me to be positive and confident about every day tasks and requirements. I thought I should be able to apply this principle to smaller events and things to look forward to as well.

In late December I took a sheet of paper, wrote 2010 across the top then divided the remainder of the sheet into 12 boxes, one for each month. Then I went through each month of the year and wrote down all the family birthdays and anniversaries, major holidays, important religious events and days off of work. Then I went through again and wrote in travel plans,  business trips, weddings and other events we will attend.

Next I looked for important days in family history that we could take note of with maybe a special dinner, family night or small adventure.  I went online and looked up other days we could celebrate for fun and an opportunity to learn like Daylight Saving Time beginnings and endings, Veteran's Day, Columbus Day, Statehood Day and other days of note that would be meaningful to us. 

Then I added annual  festivals and shows that we might enjoy going to, including events at local museums and other family places we frequent regularly. In SoCal this could include going whale watching in Spring, to see the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, taking a drive during the blooming of Rununculus.

When I was done I had a great overview of what would happen this year and I had a list of fun things to look forward to each month. 2010 looks to be a great year! Staying conscious about making each day special will make this year one to remember.

photo via

Simple Pleasures Week Day One - My Best Girl

posing with San Diego skyline in the background

It’s simple pleasures week on kalanicut.

All week I’ll be sharing simple pleasures and hope you’ll share some of yours!  It’s just a great reminder to be living our best life today rather than waiting for “some day” when we have time, when it’s easier, when we aren’t so tired, so busy, so whatever. I need that reminder!

Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite friends in the entire, whole, wide world. My bike. I dreamed my whole, long life for a cruiser bike and finally got one for my birthday 3 years ago. What a splendid gift given to me by someone who really knows me. 

The most important accessory is the beautiful wicker basket I purchased in 1999, yes a whole millennium ago, in Latvia. I carried it home which was no easy feat considering I had only a couple small backpacks with me and it arrived in one piece. The amazing basket waited and waited for me to finally get the right bike to put her on. But when the right time came, it was love at first introductions.

Up until this past year I am ashamed to say I didn’t give my beautiful bike the love she deserved. But a great simple pleasure for me this past year has been riding to the beach on Saturday afternoons after the chores and visit to the gym are done. Luckily there is a bike path just a block north of my house all the way to the beach.

A couple of hours at the beach, playground, pier and beach path are so refreshing and in the winter the sunset is the stop in your tracks lead-in to the dinner hour. There are a million food options once we leave the beach and head back into the city…fish & chips, pizza, crepes, burgers, salads or steak. There’s a spot for every price point and interest.

Once our bellies are full we meander around the walking street for a while then head for home around 9p. The bike ride home feels much longer in the dark, with a significant temperature drop and a gentle uphill slope, but it’s a good way to wind down at the end of the day and the streets are deserted most of the way. Bike lights were a fantastic investment and give us a lot of flexibility to ride when we want to.

There’s no better simple pleasure than riding the bike, in a skirt with the wind blowing through your hair and the sun kissing your cheeks. Now dear bike is also taking me to church, shopping and other errands each week, a real treat. What’s YOUR simple pleasure?

*FYI – In mid-February I’ll be doing a full week of awesome giveaways every day. Spread the word now and get ready to enter!

28 January 2010

Ga Ga for GEOX

I am so completely GAGA for these -- Geox Stefany flats! I have been fighting the flats scene for a long time now, then these appeared on my computer screen and it's been love at first sight. They are on sale everywhere and I can't find my size in black anywhere.

I adore good shoes, don't usually get obsessed -but I really want these. I can't stop thinking about them. I've been looking at them for days. I have new skirts & leggings excitedly awaiting them.
[photo via]

Artwork Week Day Five

It's DAY FIVE of ARTWORK WEEK on kalanicut.

It's the last day of ARTWORK WEEK and it's been a great opportunity to rummage through the photo archives and be reminded of cool projects that have crossed my work area and out the door. It's also percolated my creative thoughts and I am thinking a lot about fun projects to work on for the future.

Right now I'm thinking about Valentine's Day. Sweet little gifts for sisters and friends, sugar cookies and something cool and handmade for a lovely man. I've challenged him that we make each other something for Valentine's Day - he has many artistic talents so this leaves him a wide creative berth. But also challenges me to come up with something good.

Today's creative offering is baby slippers. These are tricky to make in small sizes but so very fun to conceptualize and see in the finished form.

 Have a great weekend! Next week, unless a more powerful inspiration comes my way, it's going to be SIMPLE PLEASURES week here!

27 January 2010

The NEW Chunky Frames

The NEW chunky frames by Martin and Martin.
Although mine look more zebra print and more mellow gray than the photo. Not quite used to them yet but getting more comfortable by the day. We're having fun getting to know each other.
{photo via}

Artwork Week Day Four

It's ARTWORK WEEK at kalanicut.

Here are a few samples of shoulder bags I have made.

26 January 2010

Artwork Day Three

It's ARTWORK WEEK on kalanicut.
Today it's all about baby skirts. They are fun to put together in such small proportions. And a great way to make use of really amazing but small fabric swatches and short bits of trim.

My next children's clothing adventure is little girls' sun dresses in about a size 5. I have a few pretty fabrics, ribbons and several spools of elastic thread to play with. Should be fun!

25 January 2010

Artwork Week Day Two

It's ARTWORK WEEK on kalanicut.
Today I share a variety of handbags I have created.

These were a lot of fun to make. Love gathering fabrics and trims and playing with them all together. I've sold and carried a lot of these myself over the years. Looking forward to putting some new ideas into my purse designs in the future.

24 January 2010

Artwork Week Day 1

It's ARTWORK WEEK on kalanicut.

Here's a collection of small bags I have made over the years in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. These handy little bags have been a big hit over the years.

They are so great for a variety of so many things. I have used them to organize my purse: lip balm, lipstick, eye drops, lotion and other lady stuff all goes in one of these small bags which I can then quickly transfer from purse to purse, making purse swapping a vastly easier process.

One lovely woman at my office told me last week that the bag she bought at a recent holiday fair has "changed her life". She keeps her cell phone, blackberry and work badge all together in a cute pink bag so she never arrives at work without her basics anymore. A great gift too, they are fun to fill up with little goodies and easy to pop in a padded envelope to ship.

I use them to organize extra makeup, all my nail care supplies, and other little bits and pieces in my bathroom cupboards. I use them to organize my travel bags: lingerie, swimsuits, socks, hairbrushes, etc.

 I have a little friend who keeps all her small plastic animal toys in one. Keeping track of a vast array of sea creature, dinosaurs, puppies, kitties and safari beasts in quite a big job.

These bags also have a male fan base who have a bit of an obsession with these in larger sizes and  solid colors like black and army green to keep track of all their guy stuff like shaving kit, shampoo and soap. They also use them  for camping gear, small bits of sport equipment and little tools.

They have so many uses that I've heard of from so many people who use them that the possibilities seem endless and I love the creativity and usefulness each individual user finds for them.

When I make these it's usually an all night extravaganza. I'll start about 10pm and work until about 4am. They definitely make for a sore back but the big pile of bags that "appear" in the morning give a good sense of accomplishment.

In February I will be doing a big giveaway. Several of these bags will be one of the giveaway prizes so stay tuned and be sure to enter!

23 January 2010

Artwork Week

It will be ARTWORK WEEK on kalanicut next week. I was all prepped and ready to share Simple Pleasures Week, but after reading the entire 4 year blog of some artist friends from my college days my artist side is wide awake. 

After seeing all they've accomplished since I last saw them, I felt a little envy at their artist life and regret that I didn't take more chances creating my own artist life. But as I have mulled over the "what have I been doing with my life" thought process I have come to realize that I've done plenty with my artistic side, I've taken risks, I've gained some recognition and there is plenty more room to continue growing, enjoying and developing my artist life.

So in the midst of this moment of growing, learning and listening to the things my heart is saying and wanting, I'm in the mood to talk creative pursuits. In the coming week I will share some things I've created including jewelry, notecards, gift tags, scrapbooks, skirts, handbags and more.

I had all these important things I felt must be accomplished this weekend, like laundry, painting and such, but all I want to do is create a big paper quilt and frame it. I don't really know how to quilt with fabric YET, but I have as much awesome paper as I have fabric and I have an idea percolating in my head...it involves a really big frame from IKEA, a glue stick, scissors, and a piece of foam core.

ARTWORK WEEK is already in motion!

22 January 2010

Senior Class Photo Promotion

If you know high school seniors in Las Vegas let them know about the great special Christy Cropper Photography is doing for Class of 2010 senior photos. Christy is a great photographer and lots of fun to just hang out with. She's always ready for a long road trip with loud as can be sing-a-long and fantastic with small children because a small part of her never grew up although she turned out quite grown up and lovely anyway. 

Christy also specializes in weddings and family photos and has an impressive portfolio of photos she's taken adventuring around the world. She can also be found regularly in Utah and Southern California so if you want photos and can get a group of people interested in their own sitting in your area give her a jingle. She'll come.

Accessories Make the Woman

from BR

It’s the last day of  the first FASHION WEEK on 
Hope you have enjoyed.

A few years ago I was with a few friends and took especial notice of one of them. She was classically dressed, simple solid colors and the thing that stuck out to me was that far and above anyone else there she looked so well put together.

She had the aura of a woman who knew where she was going, who was living in the now, confident, calm and collected. She wasn’t fussy about what she was wearing. It suited her to a T and she was totally comfortable in her skin and able to be present for others.

As I began to take note of what made her style stand out from the crowd there was one thing that stood out – statement jewelry pieces. She was wearing a simple but substantial long pendant necklace with earrings and a bracelet that complemented this focal piece. These statement pieces, anchored by simple stylish pieces made for one fantastic look.

Here are a few recent favorites.
from BR

Sometime soon I will post photos of some of my jewelry collection: some made by my own hands, some thrift store finds, gifts and purchased in boutiques. So what are your necklace fantasies these days? Where do you find your best statement jewelry finds?

21 January 2010

Thick & Chunky Frames are Back

Love these by Ogi Eyewear!

It's FASHION WEEK  at kalanicut.
I first started seeing big, chunky eyeglass frames on French women in fashion magazines two or three years ago. Just like when I saw leg warmers in Denmark in 1999, I knew I was seeing a trend that would make it's way to the states.

Big chunky frames require a delicate orchestration with one's eyebrows, eye shape and facial structure as I found out while shopping for eyeglasses with just an hour until closing, needing to spend up the money I had in my medical expenses fund before it expired on Dec 31.

But I learned that there is probably a big, chunky frame style and color that will work for almost anyone. While the super dark frames don't work so well for me, I found a fantastic gray pair that have enough variation in the tone that they don't look too heavy for my already well-eyebrowed face. I pick them up on Saturday. 

The thought of them makes me want to get bangs, put my hair up in a French knot, wear a phenomenal little black dress with an exquisite ornamental cardigan over my shoulders with a wicker basket at my feet containing a baguette, cheese, strawberries and cream while I sit in a sidewalk cafe sipping something warm and pretending to read a very interesting book, while making eyes through my new chunky frames at a handsome brown-haired man in a fabulous suit sitting across from me.

What about you? Do you love or hate the new crops of chunky frames? 

20 January 2010

Adventures with my Banana Republic personal shopper

It's FASHION WEEK  at kalanicut.
Monday night I had the great fortune to peruse Banana Republic in the Summerlin, Nevada. This location holds special significance for me because someone near and dear to me works there and regularly sports lovely finds from the BR racks. 

It was great fun to have a “personal shopper” with me who I could ask all sorts of questions and knew exactly what they had in stock and what the markdowns were on sale items.

I purchased a fantastic multi-strand necklace which I have yet to locate since my return home. I’m sure it’s somewhere. Oh, dear. It’s not on the web site either so unfortunately I can’t share. But I will share some other great classic finds from BR’s recent shipments.

I love this classic trench with a twist, indigo!

I'll always love a good cardigan. Love this updated for 2010 version with great jewelry and simple, girly top and contrasting dark denim.
Denim with denim is always a risk, but it works here in varying dyes. There's something so classic, all-American about a good denim jacket. You can wear it with just about anything and it's warm enough and versatile enough for just about anywhere.

I'm a sucker for a good wedge. This pair comes in three gorgeous colors and again will go with just about anything. So classic, fresh, simple and stylish.
The leather on this gorgeous tote is too scrumptious. I melt for it, just looking at it. Great quality with lots of useful compartments and space for all the things you need during the day. If you have to carry big, this is a sleek, clean way to go.
I can see myself carrying this in a multitude of situations: lunch with friends, work, church, a day of shopping, traveling -- it's an amazing go anywhere bag. Serious but down to earth. This bag says "got her stuff together woman" to me. 

There are some gorgeous jewelry pieces at Banana Republic right now too. Too much to mention in one blog post. Maybe I'll do jewelry separately soon. In the meantime, check out Banana Republic's great sales on fall/winter merchandise and pick up a few staples for the coming Spring. What are you loving at BR right now? I'd love to hear!

{all photos via}

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